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White House launches crowd sourcing neighborhood project


03/09/2016

The Opportunity Project is aimed at empowering citizens and communities through easily accessible low hanging fruits which can be beneficial to one and all.



The White House has recently announced the launch of one of its most ambitious online program that aims to support communities and families with tools so as to help them access local data-sets and federal packages.
 
Dubbed as the Opportunity Project, this initiative by the White House as per its press release reads as a means to "navigate information about critical resources such as access to jobs, housing, transportation, schools, and other neighborhood amenities".
 
Although currently the face of this initiative, which enables citizens to access the Opportunity Project data-sets, is currently limited to only eight cities, including Washington, Philadelphia, San Francisco, New Orleans, New York, Detroit, Kansas City and Baltimore, it will in time include other cities as well.
 
The Opportunity project data sets allows citizens to access government amenities at the neighborhood level itself including the location of nearby grocery stores, local home prices, locations of playgrounds, etc.
 
This data is sourced directly from public institutions which include the departments of Education, Commerce, Agriculture, Health and human Services, as well as the Census Bureau.
 
Thanks to this data archive, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will be able to develop a tool that will act as a "resource for communities to make more informed, data-driven investments that expand access to opportunity and reduce segregation, fulfilling long-standing obligations under the Fair Housing Act."

Furthermore, with this initiative, the government is also inviting software developers to create new tools as they see fit. Already more than a dozen tools are available, including ones from GreatSchools, Redfin, PolicyLink, Zillow and Streetwyze. Additionally around 30 Non-Profit Organizations have also signed up to develop more tools.